Saudi Arabia currently uses as much as one-fifth of its daily oil production to power the twenty-seven desalination plants it needs to produce domestic water, and almost as much again on other domestic consumption. Unless the government finds a way to slow the growth in this use of oil, which reduces the proportion available for export, Saudi Arabia’s exports are set for rapid decline. (Brazil discovered the largest new oil field found in the Western hemisphere in more than thirty years in 2007, any may prove to have the world’s seventh largest reserves; but due to rising domestic consumption, the country will never become an exporter.) Iran faces similar problems and more: with decline rates of 13 per cent in the six supergiant fields that hold most of its reserves, rising domestic consumption, and sanctions imposed by the US and European Union that prevent the use of enhanced extraction technologies, the country’s oil production now faces long term decline.
Mitchell, Timothy. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. Verso; London. 2013. p. 262